Exploring Sicilian Cuisine with WorldRD

This was a one-time departure and is longer available. Please see our other Sicily tours! Or contact us for a custom quote.

As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, the land of Sicily is unlike any other, and not just when it comes to its architecture, history, culture, and landscape, but also for its amazing and diverse cuisine. Explore Sicily and Sicilian cuisine with an award-winning registered dietitian, Layne Lieberman, on an accredited* educational journey into the Mediterranean diet and beyond

*Approved by CDR, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 31 CEUs (Continuing Education Units ).

Your 7-night itinerary will start in the the ancient town of Siracusa, include visits to Catania, the towering Mount Etna, to the baroque towns of the interior, and finally to Palermo.

Along the way you will explore Sicilian food and culture: its pastas, seafoods, olives, wine, desserts, and more.

Learn more about the itinerary and the CEU credits by visiting the WolrdRD website.

Trip Details

Two hands-on cooking classes featuring Sicilian cuisine.


Siracusa, Italy, as visited on a culinary tour of Italy

Day One

  • Arrival at the Catania airport. Group transfer to your accommodation in Siracusa, in the heart of Ortigia, the small island that houses Siracusa’s historical city center.
  • Check in with time to relax.
  • Welcome dinner this evening – your first taste of Sicilian cuisine! You will get an introduction to the products, flavors, and customs of this incredible island with your guide for the week, Paolo Gallo, who has over 20 years of experience organizing cultural and food tours to Sicily.

Catania, Sicily, visited on your Italy cooking vacation

Day Two

  • After breakfast, depart for Catania. Head for the amazing fish market (“A Piscaria”), one of Catania’s most indelible spots. Chef Loredana, a local cooking instructor, will teach you about Sicilian ingredients. Explore the market for an hour, learning about local fish varieties, but also about other seasonal fruits and vegetables. Then head to the cooking school for your 2-hour cooking class featuring authentic Sicilian cuisine based on the ingredients you have chosen. Lunch to follow, in which you will discuss the ingredients used, the dishes made, and possible other variations.
  • Return to Siracusa, free time this evening and dinner on your own.

Homemade Sicilian pasta, as made on a culinary tour of Italy

Day Three

  • After breakfast enjoy a 90 minute walking tour of Ortigia, Siracusa’s old historical center. Ortigia is a small, ancient island, and you will learn about its 2700 years of history and legends!
  • In the late morning, depart for Palazzaolo Arcreide, a Sicilian village that has been inhabited since ancient times.
  • Enjoy an authentic and traditional Sicilian lunch in a beloved local restaurant, learning about the ancient culinary customs of this part of Sicily.
  • Next, stop at an olive oil estate to learn about this important product of Sicilian agriculture and cuisine. You will visit the orchard and learn about the types of olives, the harvest, and the pressing. You will learn the criteria by which Sicilian olive oil is judged and labeled as “extra virgin,” and about the characteristics that would lead to an oil being rejected as defective. You will of course taste the oil – and can buy some to take home! An added bonus: your visit might coincide with part of the olive harvest.
  • Return to Siracusa, dinner on your own.

The main square in Taormina during a culinary tour of Sicily

Day Four

  • After breakfast depart for a full day to Mount Etna and Taormina. First you will explore the famous volcano and enjoy a 1-hour visit at a winery to learn how the volcanic soil influences the vineyards and wines of the area. Paolo, a wine connoisseur, will lead a discussion of other grape varieties and about what makes each so unique. Enjoy a wine tasting and a light lunch at the winery.
  • Next, head to Taormina, a jewel of eastern Sicily, to see the beautiful promenade and many sites, including the ancient Greco-Roman theater, which is still in use today. Your two-hour tour will explore the history and culture of this ancient city.
  • Return to Siracusa, dinner on your own.

Chocolate workshop in Modica, Sicily

Day Five

  • After breakfast depart for Modica, a wonderful baroque town. First enjoy a 3-hour cooking class with a local woman, Katia Amore, who has been running a small cooking school for many years. Learn more about the traditional cuisine of Sicily using seasonal ingredients and authentic Sicilian practices. Lunch to follow.
  • Next, enjoy a 1-hour tour of Modica, a baroque jewel. The city has a fascinating history: founded in ancient times, ruled by the Arabs, the Normans, and then extremely powerful feudal lords. For centuries it was home to a large Jewish population before their persecution in the late 15th century. After a late 17th-century earthquake destroyed part of the town it was rebuilt in Baroque style, resulting in its unique look. Today it remains rooted in the agricultural production of the Val di Noto, including olives, legumes, and grains.
  • Another famous product of Modica: chocolate! Head to a local chocolate factory for a half hour visit of the laboratory and a tasting of this well-known local product, which is purportedly produced using an ancient Aztec recipe.
  • Return to Siracusa, dinner on your own.

Visiting Palermo's sites on a cooking vacation in Sicily

Day Six

  • Breakfast and check out. Depart for Piazza Armerina, where you will have a 1-hour visit of the superb Roman villa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villa’s mosaics are among the most beautiful surviving from ancient days, and it is one of Sicily’s most important cultural sites.
  • Continue to Enna, where you will visit with a local cheese farmer at the Caseificio Raja. Learn about the cheese production of Sicily, its types of dairy, and in particular how Sicilian cheese is made in this interior region, and enjoy a tasting of fresh and aged cheeses as well as a light lunch in which you will taste other regional products, many of them grown on or near the farm.
  • Next – it is off to Palermo!
  • Check in to hour hotel in Palermo’s city center, then head to dinner at a local restaurant, where you will get an introduction to Palermitano cuisine and learn how it differs from the gastronomy of the east.

Pasta alla norma as made on a Sicily cooking vacation

Day Seven

  • Breakfast, then it is time for a full day of exploring Palermo, one of the most vibrant cities of Sicily. Start with a 3-hour walking tour of the city center and learn about Palermo’s rich history, culture, and gastronomy, including its origins as a Phoenician city, its thousand years as part of Rome, its tenure as capital of the Holy Roman Empire – just to touch on a few moments of its storied past.
  • Your lunch will be based on typical Sicilian street food during a 1-hour street food tour: try the famed arancini, sfincioni, and more. Stop also at a famous bakery for a tasting of Sicilian pastries and desserts.
  • In the afternoon, continue your tour of Palermo, including nearby Monreale, which is located on the side of Monte Caputo and which benefits from the agriculture in the fertile valley below, where orange, almond, and olive trees grow. Visit also its most famous site – the ancient Norman-Byzantine Cathedral.
  • This evening, time for your farewell dinner at a local restaurant, wrapping up your education on Sicilian gastronomy.

Sicilian cannoli as enjoyed on a culinary tour of Italy

Day Eight

  • After breakfast, group transfer to the Palermo airport. (Or we can arrange additional nights in Palermo for those wanting to stay on.)

Trip Details

Included in the 7-Night Trip


Seven nights accommodation

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 6 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Wine with included meals

Classes & Instructors

Two hands-on cooking classes featuring Sicilian cuisine.


  • Visit of Catania market with chef
  • Walking tour of Ortigia (Siracusa)
  • Olive oil estate visit
  • Full-day visit to Mount Etna and Taormina
  • Guided tour in Taormina
  • Winery visit and tasting
  • Chocolate workshop and tasting
  • Guided visit of Piazza Armerina
  • Cheese producer visit
  • Guided walking tour of Palermo

Transfer Details

  • One group arrival transfer from Catania airport to Siracusa hotel
  • One group departure transfer from Palermo hotel to Palermo airport

Additional transfers can be arranged on request. Please inquire for rates. 


  • Transfer from Siracusa to Palermo
  • Approved by CDR, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 31 CEUs (Continuing Education Units )

Not Included

  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses

Accommodation Information

Your accommodations will be at centrally located hotels and upscale B&Bs in Siracusa and Palermo. Please see proposed hotels below. (In the event a hotel becomes unavailable we will propose a comparable 4* alternative.)

In Siracusa we propose the lovely Santi Coronati B&B on Ortigia island. The boutique residence is ideally situated in a historic building in the heart of Ortigia island and boasts, modern rooms, WiFi, flat screen TVs, en suite bathrooms with hair dryers and amenities.


In Palermo we propose the charming 4* Quinto Canto in the city center. The en suite rooms also have minibar, safe, LCD TV, phone, and air conditioning. The hotel also has a restaurant and spa.


Pricing & Tour Dates


7-night Program

US$3550 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$585 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

Based on a minimum of 10 participants.

30% deposit due to confirm ($1065 in double occupancy, $1240.50 in single occupancy). 

Balance due 90 days prior. 

We can also set up a payment plan upon request.

Tour Dates

This was a one-time departure and is longer available. Please see our other Sicily tours! Or contact us for a custom quote.


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